“Don Bowen is your partner, right?” I ask.
He jerks his chin in a nod. “That’s right.”
“I need to speak to you about him. About what he’s been up to.”
He assesses me anew. “In which case, I suggest we go through to an interview room.”
I hold his gaze. “Are you sure you want to do that?” If this man is aware of what sort of person his partner is, he’s not going to want any of this conversation recorded. “I thought it might be better if we talk in the bar across the road.”
He purses his lips, but still, I don’t look away.
“Trust me when I say you’re going to want to talk to me.”
“Okay, Mr. Shanley. I’ll meet you over there in ten.”
I turn and walk from the station and go back to Brody in the car. “He’s agreed to meet us.”
Brody climbs out. “Good. Let’s hope our instincts are right with this one.”
“I think they are.”
I go to the trunk and take out the duffle bag containing a large sum of cash I’d taken from the safe back at the resort before we left. I pause, unzip the bag and take out a couple of bundles of bills, and then lift the base of the trunk and slide the money in with the spare tire. We might need it sometime.
I slam the trunk shut and lift the bag, which is still heavy with cash, and swing it onto my shoulder. “Let’s go.”
We go to the bar I’d indicated to Detective Murphy and find a table in the corner. It’s still early and the place is empty. Music plays in the background, and the lighting is low, despite the bright day outside. The table between us is sticky with spilled beer and needs wiping.
We have time to order coffee, and then Detective Murphy enters. He glances around and spots us. His eyes narrow at the sight of Brody—he’d obviously thought it was just going to be the two of us—but he comes over anyway.
“Who’s this?” he asks.
Brody jerks his head. “I’m Brody. That’s all you need to know.”
Murphy arches an eyebrow. “I’ll be the judge of that.”
He takes a seat opposite, and the bartender arrives with the coffees. I assume it isn’t normally table service in here, but the place is practically empty. Only an old man sits on a stool at the bar, and he isn’t paying any attention to us.
The detective sits back and folds his arms across his thick chest. “What’s this all about?”
I jump straight in. “We have reason to believe Detective Bowen is corrupt. He’s been taking money in exchange for letting drug dealers off the hook.”
His expression remains unreadable. “Is this something you have proof of?”
“Yes. I have some of the money he took.” Under the table, I nudge the bag with my foot.
Dangling this kind of money in front of someone is going to be a surefire way of finding out if they’re susceptible to taking it in return for answering some questions. Of course, I also have to be careful. I don’t want to end up being arrested for trying to bribe a police officer, but I tend to think of myself as a fairly good judge of character, and my gut is telling me that Detective Murphy is as bent as his partner.
“How did you get that?” Murphy asks.
“We know his stepdaughter. She ran away from him and took this money with her. She told us Don got it from receiving bribes from people, which was why she didn’t feel bad taking it.” This is all a lie, but he isn’t to know that.
“Why isn’t his stepdaughter telling us this herself?”
There was no point in lying about this part. “Because she’s with Don—against her will.”
“And she just happened to leave this amount of money with you? Why?”
“Don didn’t give her much choice.”